Barcelona have deemed Lionel Messi ‘untransferable’ despite the talisman having seriously considered a move away from the crisis club, according to reports.
The 33-year-old has been left disgusted after Barcelona were plunged into chaos following the humiliating manner of their recent Champions League exit, but the Nou Camp giants remain keen for Messi to spearhead their recovery.
Despite Messi having told Ronald Koeman about his crippling doubt, NobleSports reports that the club remain steadfast in their belief that their star man must stay.
Messi’s future is far from clear after Barcelona’s demolition at the hands of Bayern Munich at the quarter-final stage.
The 8-2 thrashing appears to have triggered a mass exodus, with Koeman’s predecessor Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal the first to fall.
The disillusionment with president Josep Bartomeu has also fuelled Messi’s desire to ponder leaving for the first time in his career, and the six-time Ballon d’Or winner even cut short his holiday to speak face to face with the club’s new coach.
It was in those talks that Messi reportedly told Koeman he sees himself as ‘more out than in’ at the club.
However, Barcelona still view the Argentinian as crucial to their sporting project and are protected by his eye-watering £630million release clause.
Koeman had stressed his want for Messi to stay and aid him during his return to Catalonia – and Bartomeu is adamant that selling the player, despite his unsettled nature, would not represent good business.
Mundo Deportivo also state that should Messi ask to leave, he will be reminded of his exorbitant buyout clause.
The report emphasises that Barcelona’s stance is purely due to his importance on the field, and is not to anger their captain.
It has also been claimed that figures at the club understand the reasons behind Messi’s anger.
The hierarchy still believe, however, that their greatest-ever player will want to lead Barcelona into their new era.